The Yard and Keeping the Dogs In

>> 1.12.2012

*I was not compensated in any way to write this review.*

I think you know my dogs by now:

 Hugo is the little one and C.C. is my big girl. Hugo is our little escape artist. Before moving, he would climb our bull-wire fence and terrorize the neighborhood from time to time. That was fine in the last house, but our new house is in a more central part of town that comes with a lot more traffic.

I can't remember if I've shared much of the new yard. Here are a couple panoramic shots I took when we did the house inspection:

The whole yard has a mishmash of wood, lattice, and wire fencing. I just knew that Hugo would climb out to chase something and get hit by a car! Even with a new fancy fence (that we want to add eventually), I wasn't feeling very comfortable at all...

So we got an Invisible Fence! Can you see it? Kidding... Actually, you can tell where the boundaries are based on those white flags. They tell Hugo where the safe zone is.

You can see what the wire looks like from this picture. We plan to redo the driveway so the installer just used large staple-like things to keep the force fields in place.

Oh, and if you haven't caught on, Invisible Fences are the things that shock your dogs when they cross over the boundaries. We only have Hugo on the system (see his collar) because he's the one that actually tries to escape and has the personality that matches this training method better. I know that some people would say that this is cruel in a way, but... small shock to teach a lesson > getting killed by a car!
I can't tell you how much peace this "fence" has brought to my mind!! Hugo has done an amazing job and has received a "correction" (shock) fewer than ten times in the month+ that we've had it.

For the indoors, we use a disc by the front door for keeping him from bolting out towards traffic. It works so well that when I've forgotten to pick him up to carry him out for a walk (the routine we have to do to get past the door), he actually pulls back from the correction area when I'm trying to lead him out the door!

I do wish that I though more about the placement of the hub. I didn't really think about how large it would be and how they would need to drill through the wall to get it in place.

We paid right around $1,500 in total for the system, installation, collar, training, battery backup, and indoor disc... but, as thrifty as I am, I truly don't regret a penny of it! At the same time, I don't think that I would fully trust it if we did not have backup fences in place because I know that he could get by it if something really worth the effort went by (like a cat or squirrel). Stay tuned to see how we plan to upgrade the fencing and rework the landscaping!

Does anyone else use an Invisible Fence? How does it work for you? 

PS Nate had one of these fences for his Husky growing up, but he said that his dog would just charge through the system. I have a feeling that it doesn't work for all breeds/ personalities.

7 comments:

chacha January 12, 2012 at 2:06 PM  

I used it for a long time (from 2006 to 2009) - our female mini aussie is also a houdini/escape artist. However, it had some bad, lasting side-effects. Because the collar gives off a warning beep before it shocks (thus warning the dog to move back), she now has major anxiety with beeping sounds. And she hasn't had the collar in in years.

For example, the Biggest Loser scale on TC - we have to mute the whole weigh-in portion because she literally starts shaking uncontrollably and jumps all over us like the house is on fire.

So, yeah. I have mixed feeling about the whole invisible fence deal.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog January 12, 2012 at 2:31 PM  

@chacha~ Good to know! I specifically avoided using it with our girl because she has a very timid personality and I could not see her accepting a random shock every so often. I'll keep an eye out for signs that Hugo is becoming stressed.

Sara @ Russet Street Reno January 12, 2012 at 7:19 PM  

We don't have a fully fenced in yard, so seeing how much this system costs makes me that much more glad that we don't have a dog! Wow, it's almost as expensive as a fence. Well, a small DIY one :)

Meredith January 12, 2012 at 7:28 PM  

We have had an invisible fence since we purchased our house. Even at $1,500, it was much cheaper than putting in fence because our house is on almost a acre. We LOVE it. Our shy dog actually took much better to it and has only been shocked a handful of times because she is much more timid. Our other dog is braver and a little smarter therefore she tries to test the system a little. Poor pup! I love the individual disks. For us, it keeps the dogs out of our front rooms and out of our guest room, which we try to keep pet-free. I'm glad you like it as much as we do.

Emily @ The Diligent One January 18, 2012 at 12:35 PM  

Unfortunately, I've got to echo chacha on this one. Our neighbors have a dog trained to an invisible fence, and he has developed the same phobia to beeping noises. Sadly, he is absolutely frantic to the point of destruction when he hears beeping sounds. He was afraid to enter his own home following a power outage that nearly drained the battery in their cable/phone modem. Unfortunately, there is always, always the potential for fallout with punishment based training. :(

Pattie @ On Hollyhock Farm January 25, 2012 at 8:10 AM  

I had it put in and I can't tell you how great it has been. And it is only for the front of the house by the road. My two border collies learned just one time and I don't even use the collars any more. My little guy, who attacks every thing that walks by, needs a zap once in a while but the piece of mind it brings is great!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog January 25, 2012 at 4:33 PM  

@Emily~ Hmm, maybe I should do some "beeps aren't always bad" training sessions so that he doesn't develop that issue. As it is now, he doesn't really hear the beeps because he doesn't test the boundaries, but who knows if it will change in the future. Selfishly, even if he does develop a beep phobia, I'd rather have that than have him hit by a car :(.

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